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On the Job Experience

SEATech construction students take skills on location to Pioneer Middle School

SEATech Construction Technology instructor Eric Matson is taking his classroom on the road this month as students frame a new storage building at Pioneer Middle School. Students in both of his classes, approximately 50 in all, will spend four weeks at Pioneer Middle School completing the structural framing, setting trusses and sheeting the roof on the building located next to the school’s track. The building will be used to store physical education equipment and maintenance supplies.

“This project has been two years in the making,” said Matson, who has also had students construct Habitat for Humanity homes in Walla Walla in the past. “The shop will have two large 10’ bay doors and two man doors so they will be able to use it for equipment and anything they want to store in it.”

All of the students were required to take an extensive construction safety class from project partner Jackson Contractor Group prior to beginning work. All students must wear safety glasses, hard hats, highly visible vests and work boots as part of the strict safety protocols in place. Matson says this amazing hands-on experience enhances what he does in the classroom.

“My students can actually experience real world construction to help them decide if they want to go into the industry,” said Matson. “Students in this class can earn math credit, learn how to read blueprints and other important skills of the trade.”

Construction jobs are in high demand, according to Matson. He says Jackson Contractor Group has hired some of his students and he believes this trend will continue. Students say they enjoy the fast-paced environment on the job site.

“It’s a lot more fun and we can apply all the skills we are learning in the classroom,” said senior Anthoney Betzold. “It’s also nice to do something good for the school district.”

Matson says he has other connections in the community and is constantly looking for construction projects to get his students on-the-job training. Learn more about Matson’s Construction Technology program and other amazing programs at SEATech at: https://myseatech.org/

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

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